Economic growth and social inclusion need not be mutually exclusive. For development to be sustainable, it’s got to be inclusive.

Globally, policy failures have contributed to unfair economic designs that have perpetuated extreme inequality and poverty. For too long. But wait a second before you lash wildly at the markets! It is easy to blame modern capitalism for the perils and delusions of society, but it is not easy to offer an alternative. To unpack these conundrums, we invite some of the world’s leading figures in the economic development space. From practice and policy to research and scholarship, our guests are among the best in their fields.

Podcast Summary

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Episode Highlight: ESG, Capital Markets, and Impacts

Traditionally, ESG issues have not been of primary concern to investors. However, that is changing fast.

The proliferation in technological innovations over the last decade and the backlash against globalization and other neoliberal economic policies –among other factors – have resulted in increased focus on costs, benefits, and distributional implications of pubic investments and policies. The corporate sector is also hyperfocused on advancing corporate and social goals through impact projects that resonate with the broader society. As decision-makers remain laser-focused on fixing the climate crisis and the ills of social inequality, ESG considerations are no longer side issues.

Upcoming Guest

Dr. Fred Treyz

CEO & Chief Economist, Regional Economic Models, Inc. Washington, D.C., United States

Past Episode

Anabel González

Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization, Switzerland and Former Minister of Foreign Trade, Costa Rica

Upcoming Guests

Dr. Richard Florida

Professor, Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and Distinguished Fellow at NYU's School of Professional Studies

Anabel González

Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization, Switzerland

Rodrick Miller

Chief Executive Officer, Invest Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Dr. Rachel Dodds

Professor, Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

Jeff Finkle

President/CEO, International Economic Development Council, Washington, D.C., United States

Dr. David Wilson

Chair, Economic Development New Zealand & Managing Director, Cities and Regions Ltd, New Zealand

Tracye McDaniel

President, TIP Strategies and Founder, McDaniel Strategies Ecosystem, Texas, United States

Dr. John Mollenkopf

Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology and Director of the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center, City University of New York

Dr. Fred Treyz

CEO & Chief Economist, Regional Economic Models, Inc. Washington, D.C., United States

Ifor Ffowcs-Williams

CEO, Cluster Navigators Limited,
New Zealand

Dr. Isaias Barreto da Rosa

CEO & Executive Chairman, Multisectoral Regulatory Agency of the Economy, Cape Verde

Dr. Herb Emery

Vaughan Chair in Regional Economics at the University of New Brunswick, Canada

Roger E. Barton

Managing Partner of Barton LLP in New York

Michael Vrontamitis

Lead Industry Principal, Lending Business Unit, Finastra, United Kingdom

Roberta Dall’Olio

President, European Association of Regional Development Agencies, Italy

Rachel Loeb

President & CEO, New York City Economic Development Corporation, New York, United States

Episodes: Season 1

High income gaps restrict socioeconomic mobility of the less well-off; fixing underlying structural economic issues is key.

Recent COVID-19-induced supply chain disruptions have reinforced the importance of trade in the global economy. Trade policy in the post-pandemic era must improve the lot of marginalized groups.

From social justice to public health, the increasingly complex nature of society means policy questions are becoming more difficult to address.

The FDI-social progress nexus is key; a more balanced distribution of FDI flows has implications for equitable regional prosperity.

The growing awareness of the inequities in venture funding has implications for enterprise development and public policy.

The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the inequities in economic systems globally; some say it has become a technology equalizer.

Disruptive technologies are defining the new travel normal. Can policy, practice, and research help build a more equitable tourism industry?

Understanding social policy requires a firm grasp of the role of markets; PPPs are essentially about lowering transaction costs.

As decision-makers remain laser-focused on fixing the climate crisis and the ills of social inequality, ESG considerations are no longer side issues.

Social connectedness, public health, migration, public transit infrastructure, commuting flows, trade, and social mobility are all drivers of entrepreneurship, innovation, and growth.

From justice and homelessness to neighborhood revitalization and quality education, social innovation is increasingly becoming an effective paradigm for tackling complex policy issues and regional challenges.

The dynamics of politics, policy, economics, and strategy have implications for regional competitiveness, environmental sustainability, social inclusion, and economic resilience. 

Equitable cluster development interventions have low-cost, high-impact implications. While clusters are a natural occurrence, their development does not need to be left to chance.

The digital revolution is radically changing the global payment landscape; harnessing open technology for the benefit of more segments of society remains key to the realization of the SDGs.

The disproportionate impacts of climate change on the livelihoods of low-income and other vulnerable populations are well documented. Moving the needle will involve devising robust inclusive financing frameworks and governance mechanisms.

From demographic shifts and labor market impacts to innovation and productivity increases, what do immigrant-origin communities bring to the host regions? How can the net gains be maximized?

The burgeoning space economy presents both opportunities and challenges. As cybersecurity and space-based assets increase in importance, inclusive governance is critical in managing strategic risks.

The decades-long rise in inequality is getting much worse, due, partly, to the COVID-19 pandemic. The dangers in failing to address the existential threats to human existence are enormous.

About the Host

Dr. Fred Olayele

Dr. Fred Olayele’s diverse career spans academia, government, finance, and international development. A distinguished economist and public policy expert, his research interests and practice areas cover trade policy, innovation, FDI, urban policy, political economy, and inclusive development. He has published and shared best practices in these areas at numerous conferences and institutions around the world. He has consulted widely and advised many public and private organizations in Canada, United States, and Africa.

Professor Olayele has held academic positions and taught graduate and undergraduate courses in economics, strategy, and public policy at the University of Regina and Carleton University – both in Canada. He has…